Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Monday, 4 May 2009 16:04 UK

Sale secures china firm's future

Pottery made by Royal Worcester and Spode
The sale of Royal Worcester and Spode means its designs will be preserved

Administrators received up to 100 inquiries to buy Royal Worcester and Spode china company in Staffordshire, which has now been sold.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in the first interview since the pottery firm went into administration in 2008, they had feared it would be broken up.

It was sold on 24 April for £3.2m to Port Meirion Group in Stoke-on-Trent.

PwC partner Matthew Hammond said he was "delighted" a buyer had been found to secure the 257-year-old firm's future.

Royal Worcester and Spode was founded in 1751 and employed 388 people at sites in Stoke-on-Trent, Lymdale and Worcester.

'Outright sale'

It went into administration in November 2008, which PWC said was partly due to the economic downturn and partly due to a change in customers' taste in chinaware.

About 300 people have been made redundant since November and only four shops and a warehouse in Lymedale Business Park, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, are still trading, although there are plans to close these when the last of the stock has been sold.

Mr Hammond said an outright sale of Royal Worcester and Spode had always been their preferred solution, to secure the historic firm's future.

He said: "We were delighted to be able to conclude a very long-running sale process and in particular to secure the future of the Royal Worcester and Spode brands, designs and heritage, particularly to a local company."

Portmeirion Group has acquired the trade names of Royal Worcester and Spode, and said it planned to reinvigorate some of the best known pattern ranges such as the Blue Italian, Christmas Tree and Evesham designs.

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